Admit It. Some Holiday Recipes Are Just Awful

Every family has a recipe that no one likes, but no one’s willing to admit it.

So, what’s the recipe in your family that sends shivers up your spine whenever you find out it’s being served?

With the holidays fast approaching, I began to think about the joys of holiday feasting. Which then made me think about all of the family gatherings, which then made me think of the inevitable dish of Jell-O with fruit in it.

I’ve always hated Jell-O. Even Bill Cosby couldn’t make me like Jell-O. And I love Bill Cosby.

During my years on this earth, I don’t think I’ve ever attended a holiday gathering where someone didn’t bring a Jell-O dish. Jell-O with fruit in it is bad enough, but I’ve actually seen Jell-O with vegetables in it.

Hey, if you want me to eat carrots, put them on a plate next to some Ranch Dressing. Because, just in case you didn’t notice, Jell-O isn’t opaque. I can see the carrot slivers in there.

The problem with the Jell-O dish is that the one person who makes it actually thinks everyone likes it.

We don’t.

As a kid, I’d take whatever my mom put on my plate. But if you ate your food at just the right pace, there were enough mashed potatoes left over to cover up and hide the Jell-O before you put your plate on the counter among everyone else’s plates. If you put your plate on the counter while the adults were talking about a member of the family who couldn’t make it to the gathering, you were able to slide your plate in without getting caught not eating your Jell-O.

By the way, this trick still works when you’re 52.

I’m sure other families have dishes they dread. Bean salad probably makes that list. My guess is that people make bean salads to have an excuse to get rid of the wax beans they should have never bought in the first place that are about to expire.

Then, there’s the broccoli and cheese dish, which isn’t really that at all. It’s where someone takes a Pyrex dish, fills it full of broccoli, then robs the powdered cheese mix from a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and pours it over hot broccoli.

Another dish that’s awful, but no one will admit it, is green bean casserole. Anything that’s covered in something called ‘Durkee Onions’ is a clue that it’s awful.

Durkee. Even the name sounds bad.

So, this holiday season, do what I do. Put a little Jell-O with fruit or vegetables, broccoli and cheese, or green been casserole on your plate, smile, and then cover it up with your leftover mashed potatoes before anyone catches you.

But, don’t throw out the fruitcake. They make great doorstops for years to come.

©2014 John Moore

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